Eleven days after an altercation between the pair in a city pub, South Sydney have sacked head coach Jason Taylor and forward David Fa’alogo.
And in a dramatic turn of events, the Rabbitohs board immediatley promoted John Lang to head coach.
Taylor, who was out of contract at the end of next season, seemingly failed to persuade the board and was sacked immediatley.
Fa’alogo, who is due to join Huddersfield next season, was also sacked with immediate effect.
Rabbitohs Chief Executive Shane Richardson apologised for the incident and stood by the board’s decision.
He said: “First of all we would like to apologise to the Clubs who are participating in the NRL Finals Series as this incident has detracted from the positive publicity they and Rugby League should be receiving at the moment. They’ve done a great job to make the top eight this year and I’m sure the rest of the Finals Series will be as enthralling as week one.”
“At the Rabbitohs we are determined to ensure that the values that our Club holds and the reputation of the Club and those people and organisations connected with us remain intact.”
“This is not about one or two people. It is about our Club, standing up for what we believe is right, and ensuring that we uphold our reputation. It’s about protecting the Club and everything that we stand for.”
“On a broader note, Rugby League is under close review of its whole culture. Rugby League is a professional sport with corporate partners, Members, supporters, management and staff to consider.
“The game needs to make a stance on our behavioural incidents and each Club needs to make their own statement about what is acceptable behaviour.”
“We believe this is not acceptable behaviour from the Head Coach of South Sydney.
“We thank Jason for his efforts with our Club over the past three years and wish him luck with his career and his family in the future.”
John Lang, an NRL Premiership winner with Penrith in 2003, will succeed Taylor for the next two seasons.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with the players for the next two seasons,” Lang said.
“We have a great young squad of players, a great coaching, medical and training team, and a strong front office to keep the Club moving forward off the field.
“It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to coach a Club such as South Sydney and we’ll be leaving no stone unturned to win our next premiership.”
Mark Ellison will assist Lang as Football Manager.